Pacers Say Talent Must Improve Heading Into Massive Free Agency


Pacers Say Talent Must Improve Heading Into Massive Free Agency

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Pacers Say Talent Must Improve Heading Into Massive Free Agency

The Indiana Pacers are making it very clear they want to be aggressive this summer in trying to upgrade their talent this offseason.

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INDIANAPOLISWatching the NBA playoffs has reminded Kevin Pritchard of what his team must find this summer.


“True talent shows up in the playoffs. We know we have to get more talented,” the Pacers General Manager says.


What Pritchard has also observed in the postseason is, in order to play deeper into the spring and make those elusive playoff runs, you better be prepared to score the ball at a high level.


“You are seeing an offensive league, and so much that the rules are changing to give the offensive guy even more of an advantage,” Pritchard says. “I think we have to look at (improving) the offensive ball.


“I think we have to bring players that do 1 of 2 things, or both if you can. We need some creation. We need a guy that can breakdown a defense. Then, shot making is always going to be paramount. It’s more paramount than it’s even been before. If you have 4 or 5 guys, with 1 or 2 that can create and other guys who can really shoot, it’s almost impossible to stop that team. I don’t think you have to be a point guard to be a creator or a 2-guard. Just in my mind, I want to get faster. I really want to do a deep dive on the (free agent) guys that create.”


Upping the tempo in which the Pacers play at is also a focus for Nate McMillan heading into his third season as the head coach in Indiana.


Finding another creator, preferably off the dribble, is clearly something that Pritchard wants to bolster.


If he wants to solve that need, he has around $43-45 million in cap space available this summer.


The cap space and plethora of in-house free agents allows Pritchard to do some different things this offseason, including uneven trades---something that the GM mentioned could also involve Indiana shopping its first-round pick, No. 18th overall, as well.


Of course, when July 1 arrives, all the NBA attention will be centered on the top-flight free agents this offseason.


Will the Pacers get involved?


“Can we bring in a big-name guy? Can we bring in the superstars?” Pritchard asks out loud. “The truth is, the thing we can offer any player and something that we work on every day is we believe we have a very strong culture. We feel like we are very player centric. Players come here and they know they are going to get taken care of. I feel like we got the best medical, physical therapy training staff. Our doctors and that group are unbelievable. You are going to come here and get taken care of and you know we are going to win. The more you can do that, the more that you can prove that you can take care of your players, that you are going to develop the players and that you are about winning, and you put all other things aside, then you have a chance.


“I’m not saying that we can get the big players. We will go after them. We will make the pitches. We are not afraid. We will think big. I gave my management staff a book here recently, ‘The Magic of Thinking Big.’ So, we want to think big. It may happen. It may not happen. The one thing that we believe very strongly is that once you sign with us, we are going to do our best to make you feel comfortable here and we are going to prove that with our daily actions.”



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